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Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS 2021) Main Study Data Collection

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Institute of Education Sciences (IES), Department of Education (ED).




In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, ED is proposing a change to a currently existing information collection.


Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before December 24, 2020.


Written comments and recommendations for proposed information collection requests should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to​public/​do/​PRAMain. Find this particular information collection request by selecting “Department of Education” under “Currently Under Review,” then check “Only Show ICR for Public Comment” checkbox.

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For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Carrie Clarady, 202-245-6347.

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The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the Start Printed Page 75001respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

Title of Collection: Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS 2021) Main Study Data Collection.

OMB Control Number: 1850-0645.

Type of Review: A change to a currently existing information collection.

Respondents/Affected Public: Individuals and Households.

Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 31,490.

Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 10,947.

Abstract: The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) is an international assessment of fourth-grade students' achievement in reading. PIRLS reports on four benchmarks in reading achievement at grade 4 and on a variety of issues related to the education context for the students in the sample, including instructional practices, school resources, curriculum implementation, and learning supports outside of school. Since its inception in 2001, PIRLS has continued to assess students every 5 years (2001, 2006, 2011, and 2016), with the next PIRLS assessment, PIRLS 2021, being the fifth iteration of the study. Participation in this study by the United States at regular intervals provides data on student achievement and on current and past education policies and a comparison of U.S. education policies and student performance with those of the U.S. international counterparts. In PIRLS 2016, 58 education systems participated. The United States will participate in PIRLS 2021 to continue to monitor the progress of its students compared to that of other nations and to provide data on factors that may influence student achievement. PIRLS is coordinated by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), an international collective of research organizations and government agencies that create the assessment framework, the assessment instrument, and background questionnaires. The IEA decides and agrees upon a common set of standards and procedures for collecting and reporting PIRLS data, and defines the studies' timeline, all of which must be followed by all participating countries. As a result, PIRLS is able to provide a reliable and comparable measure of student skills in participating countries. In the U.S., the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) conducts this study. In preparation for the PIRLS 2021 main study, all countries are asked to implement a field test in 2020. The purpose of the PIRLS field test is to evaluate new assessment items and background questions, to ensure practices that promote low exclusion rates, and to ensure that classroom and student sampling procedures proposed for the main study are successful. Data collection for the field test in the U.S. will occur from March through April 2020 and for the main study from March through June 2021. The submission describing the overarching plan for all phases of the data collection, including the 2021 main study, and requesting approval for all activities, materials, and response burden related to the field test recruitment was approved in April 2019 with a change request in September 2019 (OMB# 1850-0645 v.11-12), while the submission describing all aspects of the field test and recruitment for the main study was approved in October 2019 (OMB# 1850-0645 v.13). The submission for all aspects of the PIRLS 2021 main study, including data collection activities, with an accompanying 30-day public comment period was approved in May 2020. With the COVID-19 pandemic and under the guidance from IEA, this submission request is to update changes in the sampling population and data collection materials related to the changes. The supporting statements Parts A and B describe all aspects of the study; Appendices A1 and A2 provide the main study communication materials and additional materials related to the data collection activities, respectively; Appendix B provides the non-response bias analysis plan for the main study; and Appendix C provides the questionnaires for the Main Study. In the case that the final approved U.S. adapted versions of the PIRLS 2021 main study questionnaires differ from those in this submission, the final versions including any updates for the Main Study will be submitted to OMB for approval as a change request in May 2021.

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Dated: November 19, 2020.

Stephanie Valentine,

PRA Coordinator, Strategic Collections and Clearance, Governance and Strategy Division, Office of Chief Data Officer, Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development.

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[FR Doc. 2020-25989 Filed 11-23-20; 8:45 am]